Posted by: digibirder | February 16, 2012

Cyprus part 3

Feb 1st
Woke up fairly early and quietly made our morning cuppa so that we did not disturb our neighbours. After breakfast we walked down another path leading to the rocky coastline and spotted crested lark, greenfinch, more black redstart and a probably wheatear (but not sure which one).

After returning to our room to have a coffee we then walked down to Tea for Two on Tomb of the Kings Road to meet up with some people from a forum for British ex-pats in Cyprus. I had become acquainted with a couple of people on the forum when I became a member after Keith was selected for a job interview there a couple of years ago. One lady, Geraldine, was living in Barnsley then, but she has now been in Cyprus for a year, so she arranged a meeting with the forum moderator Veronica and her husband Dennis, and another couple who had only moved out there a few days before our meeting, Jane and Terry. We had lunch and discussed the ins and outs of living in Cyprus, as it has been in our minds since Keith’s interview that this may be a good idea anyway, even though he didn’t get the job. It really got our minds working that this could really happen, so Dennis kindly offered to meet up with us on another day and show us some properties that would be within our budget. We quickly agreed to this and set a day and time.

After lunch, Geraldine gave us a lift to the harbour area, where we were going to do some shopping and then catch the bus back to the apartment, but on arrival at the bus station it became apparent that there was a distinct lack of buses! Asking at the tour information desk at the bus station we were told: “Strike”. Apparently the drivers had not been paid for January and so had gone on strike. We did not want to pay a fortune for a taxi, so we walked all the way back. Luckily we hadn’t bought much shopping. It took us 50 minutes. Our feet were very tired when we arrived back, as we had only been wearing sandals.

On arrival, we had a small cocktail of brandy sour and a long rest before preparing dinner. We had bought some sea bass at the supermarket so we had that with salad and it was delicious.

Another evening chatting by the fire and then to bed.

Feb 2nd
The hire car was delivered to the hotel and after breakfast we set off for a drive. We drove up the coast road to take a look at Coral Bay. We came here many years ago and the change is incredible with new buildings having sprung up all over. We continued on to Agios Georgios where we had a wander round the old church and then drove the short distance down to the pier.

We then drove towards Polis, stopping off at the environmental centre in Kritou Tera where Keith had his interview. We stayed a while chatting then continued on our way to Polis, where we had a walk around the town then found a taverna for lunch. I managed to get my only traditional moussaka of the week (I love it) and Keith had kleftico (a roast lamb dish). We continued our drive along the coast to Latchi and explored some back roads where we passed many groves of oranges and lemons. I was really tempted to pick some, as they grow really close to the edge of the road. On the way back, along a different road, we stopped at a supermarket and bought some legitimately. They were quite delicious.

So, back at the room, it was time for a cocktail or two, then a cup of tea and toasted feta sandwich for tea – just slices of feta between slices of toast done in the toaster. Very nice. Then the usual chatty evening in the lounge and another early night.

Feb 3rd
A warmer day with lots of sunshine. Drove down to harbour and walked around the coast path for a short distance, then returned to car and drove to Tea for Two in advance of meeting Veronica and Dennis for our house tour. We were a little early so popped in for a toasted teacake and coffee.

It was a very enlightening few hours, with visits to three properties in a village near Paphos, then we were invited back to their house for a drink and a snack. It was quite warm on their sun terrace, but not warm enough for a dip in their pool!

Drove back to Paphos (to get some brandy to bring home) then back to room to have a rest. We then walked down to Lidl to get the ouzo for bringing home (it was a lot cheaper there, and very nice), and then cooked dinner of souvlaki (a type of kebab) and salad. Somehow we managed to cook these meals with very limited pans and utensils.

Yet again we had a fireside chat in the lounge before crawling into bed.

A morning rainbow

View over to Coral Bay and the stranded boat

The smaller church at Agios Georgios

Inside of small church

The main church

Inside main church

View to harbour

The harbour

Looking back up to the church

We thought this was a bit of a strange amount, but it’s a direct conversion of 20 CYP (Cypriot Pounds – the old currency)

Kritou Tera

In need of some TLC

But with lovely views to the sea

And over the village

Taverna in Polis

Another typical Cypriot church

Orange trees lining the road in Polis

One of the many stray cats of Cyprus frequenting the harbour

The new coastal walkway at Paphos

Paphos Ancient Fort

The first house we saw – view from rear first floor balcony – birding heaven

From the front first floor balcony

As above but further to the right

Lovely large kitchen – I really liked this house

The sun shelter at the side garden

The communal pool

Veronica and Dennis brought young Teddy, who was pleased to find a ball in the garden

The third house – far left – we weren’t as keen on this one, although it was very nice

But the views at the back were fantastic – note goats on hillside

The back of the house wasn’t too inspiring though

The second house wasn’t that nice – it seemed to have been lived in a long time and there was a stale cigarette smell in the air. Also the estate was a little older and worn looking. Anyway, the exercise gave us some food for thought and a good idea of the type of property we might be looking for. To start with we would probably rent anyway, and then spend time looking around in order to find the best area for us to live. I think we are certainly going to look at this option in more detail. We can certainly still run our businesses there, and with no job prospects here, we might even be better off there in the long term, with lower rates for services and better cost of living in general.


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